Salvaged and Ecofriendly Style at a Montreal Triplex

Shortly after buying a triplex at Montreal, first time homeowners Dominique Leroux and Anne-Marie McSween attended a local ecological rally which made them rethink their style approach. The two spent the next few months exploring ecofriendly design procedures, then enlisted architect Vouli Mamfredis of Studio MMA to perform the renovation, which lasted a year and comprised reusing as much leftover material as you can in the gutted interior.

Most of the salvaged original wood framing became the newest floor, while neighborhood artisans infused the rest to kitchen cabinetry, a dining room table, stair treads and much more. Even Leroux’s and McSween’s families stepped in to donate unused furniture and wood. “Everything has a story,” says Leroux.

in a Glance
Who lives here: Dominique Leroux, a software engineer, and Anne-Marie McSween, a lawyer
Location: Hochelaga-Maisoneuve district of Montreal
Size: 2,480 square feet; 1 bedroom, 2 bathrooms, 1 shower area (top 2 floors only)
Budget: $115 Canadian (roughly U.S.$113) per square foot

Esther Hershcovich

The couple resides on the two top floors while renting out the floor. On the next floor, Mamfredis eliminated walls to open up the kitchen, living and dining spaces.

The woodworking crew at Construction BFG constructed the dining table in the reclaimed basement wood. McSween’s uncle gifted the dining chairs, which are teacher’s school chairs he collected over the years.

Esther Hershcovich

The minibar counter in the kitchen is constructed from old flooring.

Bar stools: local artisan Mat-Pel; suspended lights: Le Lampiste de Beloeil; cabinet wire mesh: Richelieu

Esther Hershcovich

The corrugated metal backsplash is repurposed from the other among Manfredis’ projects, along with the homeowners repurposed countertops that a local Mountain Equipment Co-op store was getting rid of.

McSween and Leroux set up a heated floor program in both the kitchen and baths.

The concrete flooring contains a residue from aluminum lights and is covered with a green sandpaper. The floor didn’t go exactly as planned, however, and the couple ended up with a textured effect.

Esther Hershcovich

An Envirosink sink attracts graywater into a 4,500-liter (1,180-gallon) cistern under the house, that provides water for the bathrooms.

Countertop: ceramic tile, Céragrès

Esther Hershcovich

The columns used for its 9 1/2-foot ceilings are made of salvaged wood picked up in AIM Recyclage, a scrapyard at Charlemagne. The homeowners utilized Eco-Selection oil on all the exposed wood.

A little porch outside the kitchen has shade in the summer and is where they like getting breakfast.

Paint: Papier Japonais 6195-21, Sico Ecosource

Esther Hershcovich

Directly through the kitchen is a wall hiding the toaster and pantry. The couple placed their piano at a central place so that they could play with it anytime during the day.

Paint: Omelette 6093-74, Sico Ecosource

Esther Hershcovich

Leroux, along with McSween’s dad, cleaned and stripped a pallet that previously had been used for roof material and turned it into a coffee table.

The homeowners abandoned the brick vulnerable to add feel. They also left the metail rail that runs along the wall to the exterior that keeps the house from slanting.

They’re still determining whether or not to add artwork to the walls. “When you set up a piece of artwork, eventually you give up viewing it,” Leroux states. They’re considering leasing artwork from a local gallery.

Esther Hershcovich

The couple brought oak, natural wool and latex to local furniture manufacturer Meubles Re-No, who constructed this sectional couch with the materials. The item was then covered in organic hemp fabric from Rawganique, where the couple bought all their cloths in the house.

Esther Hershcovich

Leftover tiles in McSween’s parents’ renovation compose the second-floor bathroom’s counter. “We have whatever material we could from everyone,” states McSween. They used exactly the same tile in the other toilet.

Rainwater in the cistern under the house is used to flush their Caroma toilets.

The poster above the toilet was made for Leroux as a birthday present. It’s the form of a bike that was made with words which describe him.

Esther Hershcovich

The two Leroux and McSween are avid bikers, so that they expanded their main entry door to ease easier transportation of the bicycles.

Esther Hershcovich

The metalwork on the stair rail is by Soudure René Thibault. The wood stair treads are made from the cellar framing.

Esther Hershcovich

The next floor includes the master bedroom, the master bath, a living market and this shared office space with a sizable library. The wood used for its shelves was recycled three occasions: It was originally used for a garage then a chicken coop.

A large built-in desk hugs the vulnerable columns. Two vibrant hammocks with suspended lighting hang nearby Leroux’s guitar set.

Esther Hershcovich

Before the couple’s buying the house, their similar programs were a bit of a nuisance. “We had been biking back from functioning and running for the shower first,” Leroux states.

To repair the problem, a large shower area in the center of the next floor includes two showerheads. A light dome brings in natural light, and the frosted glass on the sliding barn door is made of the home’s old windows. The metal metal is in exactly the same masonry job employed from the kitchen.

Esther Hershcovich

On the opposite side of the top floor is an open, sun-filled area with doors resulting in the master bedroom and master bath. A futon opens up for visiting guests.

Esther Hershcovich

Mat-Pel crafted the mattress and side tables according to Leroux’s layout.

Esther Hershcovich

“You always need to hang your clothes on the doorknob, so that I left a strip of wood with doorknobs,” Leroux states. He made the piece from leftover scraps of wood and recycled porcelain doorknobs from ÉcoRéno.

The curtain holder was made with curved electricity pipes.

Esther Hershcovich

A massive piece of frosted glass repurposed from a porch doorway brings in additional light to your toilet.

Paint: Arôme de tabac 6074-63, Sico Ecosource

Esther Hershcovich

Sliding doors throughout the house maximize space.

Esther Hershcovich

Throughout the renovation the homeowners opened up access to the roof by adding a stairway.

Esther Hershcovich

The stairway leads to the 11- by 20-foot rooftop deck with views of Montreal and the Olympic Stadium. An herb garden includes thyme and chives.

Esther Hershcovich

The architectural structure of the greystone was retained intact. The only viewable change is the contemporary doorway to the next floor.

See more photographs of the home

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HVAC Exposed! 20 Suggestions for Daring Ductwork

After something shunned and banished to crawl spaces and attics, exposed ductwork is on the increase for a design element — and as an energy-efficient alternative. Naturally, those contemplating vaulted ceilings or raising headroom within their home will need to consider what’s hidden above. Fantastic thing savvy designers understand how to generate a simple, utilitarian feature pack a major design punch. Playing size, shape, angles and color enables exposed systems to operate in almost any space.

Designer Cavin Costello of The Ranch Mine in Phoenix uses the approach when remodeling older houses without attic space. In sweltering cities in which temperatures frequently blow beyond 110 degrees, installing ductwork on roofs and piping cool air through the oven-like atmosphere doesn’t make sense in terms of energy efficiency. “You put the ducts in the envelope of the house, also it helps it keep cool,” Costello says. “It is more efficient. You don’t even have to add insulation at the top of them. It cuts down on cost like that, too.”

Here’s to maximum exposure.

The Ranch Mine

Regardless of the challenge of 8-foot-high ceilings, Costello needed to proceed with exposed ducts within this Phoenix-area home, because the midcentury house didn’t have attic space. The only other feasible option was to operate the machine on the roof — not effective in a scorching-hot city, nor aesthetically pleasing.

The Ranch Mine

To lower prices in another project, Costello went with an off-the-shelf-type duct. To make it unique, however — rather than remove from the wooden support beam — he split the system into two smaller vents rather than having one big one.

Peter A. Sellar – Architectural Photographer

Smart ductwork can solve cognitive difficulties, too. A towering ceiling becomes mediated by exposed beams and symmetrical ductwork here.

Elad Gonen

Sleek and minimalist, this magnificent duct is a powerful decor statement all its own.

Domiteaux + Baggett Architects, PLLC

Likewise, this simple design is an eye-pleasing element in a contemporary dining area.


Even the simplest models can work miracles. Here, room-spanning ductwork enlightens a modern design wrapped in rustic timber.

Ryan Duebber Architect, LLC

The exposure system works in areas with low ceilings. In this basement lounge area, a jet-black duct system adds depth to an otherwise closed-in area.

Thom Filicia Inc..

Painting the vulnerable system here pares it down, making way for textural impact in line with the diverse decor.

Momoko Morton

On the flip side, the big, rectangular duct here takes the bold and edgy decor one step farther.

Rad Design Inc

Getting creative with angles allows this system at a Toronto loft dazzle. The tube cascades from a bedroom to the living and kitchen spaces, paralleling the stairs path.

Nicholas Moriarty Interiors

Slick exposed metal causes a fashionable stir within this masculine scheme.

In wood-happy spaces, big shimmering metal accents help divide the material palette.

Elad Gonen

But don’t feel confined to metal. Consider painting ductwork to complement different components.

Angela Todd Designs, Portland, OR

The ceiling is a superb place for incorporating comparison, too. Although this kitchen says urban nation, the ceiling screams modern industrial.

Gus Duffy AIA

A duct run across a wall rather than down the centre adds play while allowing the exposed rafters steal the show .

Charleston Home + Design Mag

Exposed ducts allow ceilings being erase impeded by homeowners. Here it started up a head-turning stability of lines.

Jane Kim Design

Tucked away in gorgeous wood rafters, this system offers a welcome piece of surprise.

Exposed ducts don’t have to be confined to only open living spaces. This small and subtle one is a slam dunk in this bedroom.

Spacecrafting / Architectural Photography

Subtle changes in size and form may draw the eyes together numerous blank lines.

Sandvold Blanda Architecture + Interiors LLC

A crisp corner-hugging layout instills the sophisticated vibe of this TV room.

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Reinvented Ranch-Style Home at Dallas

“The trees enticed me in initially,” says Dallas architect Christy Blumenfeld. “They reminded me of growing up in Alabama, along with the land just felt Southern.” While Blumenfeld along with her husband, Adam, loved their 1948 ranch-style house, it was in need of extensive renovations. The mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems were outdated, and the couple needed more space for their family. “I opted to utilize the foundation of the original home in lieu of tearing down,” Blumenfeld says. “more is recycled that way, and I also like to enhance the integrity of an existing home. If you strip away all of the layers, then you’re left with the essence and honesty of the space and stuff.”

in a Glance
Who lives here: Christy and Adam Blumenfeld and their 2 children, Alexandra and Ben
Location: Dallas
Size: 6,500 square feet; 5 bedrooms, 5 baths
That is interesting: The kitchen and family room attribute brick flooring original to your home.

Valerie McCaskill Dickman

Blumenfeld added another level to the home, visually proportional to the outside. She also introduced a Southern vernacular with slurried brick, enlarged windows and operable shutters. The tree-lined circular driveway creates an inviting first impression.

Bill Bolin Photography

Blumenfeld made her kitchen with ease in mind. Two separate sinks and 2 faucets are flanked by appliances. The countertops are Calacatta gold marble, but the island is concrete. “Concrete is so simple to maintain,” says Blumenfeld. “I used it on the entire island and lowered part of it for seating for my children.”

Bill Bolin Photography

After adding a new bay window, Blumenfeld says her kitchen eating place is now her favorite place in the home. The area features a round dining table for six and Oly chairs sandwiched between a classic French chandelier and original brick flooring.

Valerie McCaskill Dickman

The family’s formal dining room features an antique dining table, custom seats and an antique armoire. Hanging between the enlarged windows is a painting by the architect’s mother, Jackie Good Briscoe of Decatur, Alabama. Other paintings by Briscoe are found throughout the home. Above the dining table hangs a white feather “chandelier” that Blumenfeld set up for a party. She states, “I thought it was fun, so why not keep it for a while?”

Bill Bolin Photography

The former living room has been transformed to the study and sitting place. The original fireplace mantel was painted to match the interior doorways and is flanked by custom wrought iron shelving components. Four leather seats atop a classic Oushak rug anchor the area.

Wall paint: Ashley Gray, Benjamin Moore; seats: Restoration Hardware; painting: Andrea Rosenberg

Valerie McCaskill Dickman

The 2-inch herringbone plank flooring throughout the home are original. In the foyer, a classic church pew provides seating, and above it hangs a framed classic architectural drawing. The drawing was formerly brown with age, and Blumenfeld bleached, restored and mounted on it for display.

Grass-cloth wall covering: Ralph Lauren Home

Bill Bolin Photography

The back entry opens up to the new porch addition. A leaded glass door, side lights and an arched transom mirror the front entrance and are original to the home.

Bill Bolin Photography

Inside the back screened-in porch is a grill and bar area with concrete counters, refrigerator drawers, a gas grill and one burner.

Bill Bolin Photography

Slated to be an “all-year entertaining area,” the new screened-in porch comes with an arched brick fireplace with a TV above, Bevolo gas stoves and Pennsylvania bluestone floor along with brick. “We slurried the brick to hide where the old house stopped and the new house starts,” Blumenfeld says.

Valerie McCaskill Dickman

Daughter Alexandra practices piano in the main living area/family room, which adjoins the kitchen and dining areas. The window to the right looks out on the new porch addition.

The sitting area features two seats Blumenfeld purchased in a flea market in Paris. “My couch cover is really a lifesaver,” she points out. “It’s machine washable.”

Wall paint: London Fog, Benjamin Moore; ottoman cover: Le Gracieux; couch cover: Quatrine

Valerie McCaskill Dickman

Ben, Blumenfeld’s son, sleeps to a king-size bed composed of 2 twin frames woodworked together. The twins were used in Adam’s youth bedroom.

Wall paint: Arctic Blue, Benjamin Moore; map: National Geographic; sconces and bedding: Pottery Barn

Valerie McCaskill Dickman

In this guest suite, formerly the master bedroom, Blumenfeld created a greater awareness of scale and opened the views by expanding and lowering the original bay windows.

Wall paint: Silver Sage, Restoration Hardware; art: Jackie Goode Briscoe; furniture: classic

Valerie McCaskill Dickman

In the newly added master bedroom, a custom chandelier hangs from 16-foot vaulted ceilings, and symmetrical entries to some his-and-hers toilet help balance the area. Blumenfeld made the bedframe as a gift for Adam.

Valerie McCaskill Dickman

The ceiling marginally lowers in the master bedroom sitting area, which has an oversized ottoman with Aubusson tapestry and a different painting by Jackie Goode Briscoe, that hangs above a custom camelback sofa. The couple enjoys views of the back porch and garden, as well as of a swimming pool along with joint basketball/tennis court, from this sitting area.

Valerie McCaskill Dickman

In the entryway to her husband’s wardrobe region from the master bathroom, Blumenfeld installed magnificent classic French walnut doors along with a transom, all with hand-forged wrought iron details.

“I found these while studying in New Orleans and got them for a steal,” she states. “I held on to them over the years, knowing one day I’d rely on them for a client. That client ended up being me.”

Valerie McCaskill Dickman

The original single-level home had two baths. For the newly added second floor, Blumenfeld produced a bathing alcove overlooking a freestanding bathtub surrounded by 1-inch blue mosaic glass tiles.

Valerie McCaskill Dickman

Blumenfeld’s latest splurge was updating her three wheeled doorways to create a carriage house feel. She also expanded the garage to accomodate a new home office.

Valerie McCaskill Dickman

Blumenfeld is an avid gardener and planted 25 dogwoods around the property when her family moved in. She believes her landscape to be in constant evolution, like her residence, and states her next project will be planting a new vegetable garden. “I think about gardening a daily ritual,” she says with a determined grin.

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